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The Kindle

I just...hate the Kindle. And it's irrational and it's stupid and I'm friends with lots of smart people who love the Kindle for very smart and practical reasons. But I can't shake the feeling that all these e-readers are going to lead to the eventual elimination of real books. Not completely, of course, but practically. In about 5-10 years real books will be like LPs are now to music. Sort of a quasi-elitist footnote to how most people actually interact with text.

I mean, I'm already one of those people who's banging on about how real books "read better" than e-books which just makes me sound like an idiot. I can only imagine how insufferable I'll seem in 10 years. I'm 31 and I already feel obsolete.


I've been saying for a while that I believe some people are tactile, and those people will always prefer books. I'm one of them, but I can see getting an e-reader someday for the kind of disposable stuff I may only read once or that comes in shoddy binding anyway. It would cut down on the clutter in my apartment, for one thing. (At the same time, I write with a fountain pen and buy hardcovers of books I like if the binding is attractive.)

A surprising number of young people I know still seem to like holding a book in their hands. (Some of the same young people hunt out vinyl records for similar reasons!) I think "the book" is staying with us in all its low-tech loveliness, but I'm becoming reconciled to ebooks, at least in some circumstances.